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Health Beauty Happiness

The tan tax?

23
December
2009
The tan tax?

With Christmas only a couple of days away, the tanning centres have been busy with customers getting an early start on their winter sun.

However, indoor tanning services continue to be a heated topic with many health professionals on one side, calling for increased regulation of sun beds and warning of the link between their usage and the increased chances of skin cancer. While tanning professionals, on the other side, resist increased regulation arguing that indoor tanning, if done responsibly, is no more dangerous than bathing in the sun.

Now, the US congress is proposing a new approach which would treat indoor tanning like other potentially dangerous products such as alcohol and cigarettes and simply tax them. The bill, which comes as part of the major healthcare reform package...

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Exercise helps your zzzzzzs

04
December
2009
Exercise helps your zzzzzzs

Monday evenings are circuit training evening here at Wahanda, and after an hour of hard training I can usually hardly move and following a light dinner and a quick catch-up on emails I tend to fall asleep like a baby.

So I was unsurprised to see that a series of studies support the importance of physical activity in promoting good sleep.

What is interesting, is that for the first time, scientists are drawing a direct link between just how much sleep and exercise are correlated and in this regard, the study on children is particularly interesting. In the study, 871 healthy children wore actigraphs to measure their movement. The results showed that sedentary activity was associated with an increase in sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep when you toss and turn and wonder...

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Heavy exercise could increase risk of arthritis for middle aged people

02
December
2009
Heavy exercise could increase risk of arthritis for middle aged people

According to new research from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), excess physical activity in middle aged people can cause damage to the knee and increase the chances of osteoarthritis.

Describing the results of the study, Dr Christoph Stehling, research fellow at the UCSF said, "Our data suggest that people with higher physical activity levels may be at greater risk for developing knee abnormalities and, thus, at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis. This study and previous studies by our group suggest that high-impact, weight-bearing physical activity, such as running and jumping, may be worse for cartilage health. Conversely, low-impact activities, such as swimming and cycling, may protect diseased cartilage and prevent healthy cartilage from developing disease."...

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Scientists unlock how acupuncture works

03
September
2009
Scientists unlock how acupuncture works

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a means to alleviate pain. Most acupuncture practitioners have argued that the treatment works by altering the flow of the body's energy, however, scientists have struggled to understand exactly how it works.

Now a new study published in the September issue of NeuroImage, has used medical scanning technology to show that acupuncture eases pain by regulating key receptors in the brain. The study, which tracked a group of women with a cronic pain illness, found that acupuncture eases pain by regulating key receptors in the brain that process and weaken pain signals. The study found that by directly stimulating these receptors, acupuncture can affect the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain....

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An easy fix for tennis elbow?

26
August
2009
An easy fix for tennis elbow?

I play quite a bit of tennis and live in fear of developing tennis elbow. I have seen tennis elbow prevent too many of my friends from enjoying their love of this great game and then spend years in different treatments trying to overcome it.

An interesting article out today in the New York Times suggests that a study has found a very simple (and cheap) set of eccentric exercises that may be the answer that tennis (and Golf players) have been looking for. Read more here.

Hopefully they will find similar exercises to overcome wrist pain associated with typing too much -- my current nemesis.

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Tanning responsibly

29
July
2009
Tanning responsibly

At this time of year, many us like to pop into our local tanning centre for some time on the sunbed and get a head-start on the summer holiday, however, new research reinforces once more how important it is to use sunbeds carefully.

According to BBC News the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently completed a review of research which is published in the medical journal, The Lancet and which "concluded that the risk of melanoma - the most deadly form of skin cancer - was increased by 75% in people who started using sunbeds regularly before the age of 30."

The research makes it clear that many people are abusing their use of sunbeds. However, its clear that more than ever, if you are going to use them at all, you should use sunbeds responsibly. Here are some practical...

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NHS embraces complementary medicine

28
May
2009
NHS embraces complementary medicine

The role of complementary therapies in traditional medicine has been a subject of hot debate. Of course, there are many that believe that complementary medicine can be a powerful and effective tool in treating certain conditions, but there has been a recent flurry of articles and books arguing that these treatments were non-evidence based and potentially dangerous to patients. In fact, as recently as this past weekend the FT Weekend Magazine ran a cover story on complimentary medicine entitled "This medicine is mumbo-jumbo".

Which is why yesterday's announcement that, for the first time, the NHS yesterday is backing the use of acupuncture, or massage as treatment for persistent back pain is so extraordinary. It is the first time the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical...

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Bringing wellness to the office

25
May
2009
Bringing wellness to the office

I suspect that Wahanda is like so many businesses -- we would like to incorporate wellness and wellbeing into our business and to ensure that our employees are happy and healthy but it can be hard to figure out how to do that regularly. We all work too hard, we all feel stressed at times and we all forget to take the time to take care of ourselves. The irony is that even at Wahanda, we feel this even though we live wellness all day and everyday.

That is why recently we introduced a free weekly Yoga lesson for all employees in the office. Every Thursday, the lovely Kristy Norton who, naturally, we found using our therapist search, comes to the office and leads a one hour yoga lesson. We don't have a dedicated room for this. We simply clear the desks and roll-out our mats. It couldn't...

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I am a co-founder of Wahanda. I have worked in the lifestyle and internet businesses for years and am really excited about what we are building at Wahanda.

While I am not a professional therapist I am passionate about the wellness industry and how the internet can help connect consumers and professionals to raise awareness and find the ideal treatment.

Although I go to quite a few spas, I tend to have a very practical approach to wellness. I do yoga and lots of physical exercise and believe that a good regular massage is crucial to help me relieve stress.

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